So you weren’t selected for the Basic Income Scheme for Arts, now what?

September 9, 2022

The announcement of the pilot scheme generated a lot of positivity and excitement earlier this year. The Basic Income for Arts scheme is a wonderful boost for the sector after a challenging few years. This research project has the potential to change the landscape of arts professionals for generations to come. So, if you submitted an application, congratulations! You’ve contributed to the success of this project already

If you applied and didn’t get it here’s what you MUST do next:

Feel Disappointed

It’s natural to feel disappointed or upset. To be included and receive the funds was something you had allowed yourself to look forward to. What’s very important now though, is to not let the disappointment turn into disillusion or loss of motivation. Feel your disappointment  but only briefly. Hanging on to the negativity of not receiving it will hamper your art business’ progress. It’s understandable that you will feel disappointed not to have been selected but now is the time to push forward with your other plans for growing your practice and generating sales.


This is a great lesson in not putting all your eggs in one basket. If you were relying solely on being selected for the scheme and have made no other plans you’ll have learned the hard way to not do that.

If you are one of the 1000 artists selected for the control group, it’s a good example of how making an application for any award or fund can lead to alternative opportunities. This is your opportunity to continue to contribute to the advancement of the scheme. You can and should engage in this vital role.

Take a good look at the correspondence you received. What feedback can you glean from it that you can use to your advantage? Many rejection letters seem to have highlighted the fact that the artist had qualified but wasn’t selected. This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT and GOOD information. It means that the only thing that went against you was simply a matter of numbers, not that you didn’t complete the application correctly or didn’t meet the criteria. This means that there is absolutely no reason not to try again next time.

If the reason for rejection was something else, take the feedback on board and be sure not to make the same mistake next time.


-This was/is a unique opportunity afforded to artists to support their creative practice. Unique to Ireland and unique to the sector. Similar schemes don’t exist everywhere else and where they do, the arts community is much larger making competition greater. Also, other professions rarely get the same kind of supports offered to them. When these schemes or similar arise, take full advantage, get your hat in the ring while maintaining awareness of the fortunate position made available to you.

-To stand back and take an objective look at the situation. There were funds allocated for a total of 2000 artists. 9000 artists applied, 8200 of those were deemed eligible, the remainder had to be discarded for various reasons some of which were simple omissions or mistakes. Demand was always going to outweigh supply. This was a pilot scheme, the next round will likely yield a larger allocation of places.

-The basic income for arts is a research scheme, it’s still in the very early stages. If you feel the criteria for eligibility or selection was lacking you might be right but there is time and room for improvement.

Of the awards issued, the bulk (707) went to visual artists, so your peers benefited the most. This bodes well for you securing a space on future iterations of the scheme.

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

You played a vital role in communicating to the government the need and demand for a permanent scheme of this nature by submitting your application for the basic income for arts scheme. You have contributed to the sector as a whole and done something very valuable for your community.

About 2020 Curates Creative Careers

2020 Curates Creative Careers provides resources, support and advice for visual artists who want to build successful businesses from their artistic practices. There are a variety of services available including art business mentoring, courses, workshops and art business advice intensives. Click here to learn more about all the options and join our mailing list here for monthly free resources.

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  1. Felicia says:

    Thank you , I was definitely disappointed but feel better fer reading this. 😊